A first rate story with an unusual setting -- and a rather too melodramatic finish. It is a story of Marth's Vineyard in the days when the August prayer meeting two miles inland from what is now Oak Bluffs, was Hebron Allyn's chance to bring to fruition his year's efforts to lead the Islanders to God. And it was this sense of a mission that dominated his life, that made him feel it unseemly that he should love Ellen Frosbie from Concord so passionately -- that his anger should be so stirred when she refused to let him break her will, her sense of what was right. And so -- instead of the months when she stayed with his aunt in Edgartown bringing them closer, preparing them for marriage, they seemed to grow ver farther apart -- and behind it all was Joss Caval, the Island misfit, bastard son of a mad woman whose life had stopped when an accident killed the man she loved. For Joss and Ellon shared something from which Hobron was forever shut out. The story of this strange triangle, of how pride was humbled and patterns formed and broken, gives one a pervading sense of the Island and its individuality, of the exciting histories behind the austere front, of the influences from ""off-island"" that gradually loosened the hold of the puritanical element, and of how Ellon was caught in the cross-currents -- and held her own. Fascinating reading, and a new setting for I.A.R. Wylie.